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50 Google Search Quality Changes in March

Here’s our latest installment of search quality highlights, with another 50 changes to report for March. We’re starting to get into a groove with these posts, so we’re getting more and more comprehensive as the months go by.

Highlights for me are two items related to the processing and interpretation of anchor text, as well as four revolving around the better use of synonyms.

#google #seo #search
Gavin Sutherland's profile photoJoey Abna's profile photoAJ Kohn's profile photoAndy Young's profile photo
My highlight is that Google is finally going to be indexing common non-alpha-numeric characters, namely:
“%”, “$”, “\”, “.”, “@”,“#”, and “+”
Great to see a developments too with regard to more accurate short answers - a heavier leaning on Freebase and entity based search.
Also with regard to Aaron's comment might the indexing of # possibly make defunct the oft espoused advice of replacing ? in tracking params with a # to stop URL duplication?
The anchor text changes were the most noteworthy for me. I assume the code name "PC" change is referencing the February update about how Google is evaluating links. If the value attributed solely to the anchor text has been diminished that will cause a lot of change in rankings. Some have built their entire structure on targeted anchor text links.
AJ Kohn
+Steven Jacobs, the two bits on anchor text make me believe that Google has figured out a better way to interpret and use anchor text. In short, I think they're getting smarter and are using more nuanced techniques to combat anchor text bombing.
Interestingly for a Euro, they've added Champions League scores and KHL (Russian Hockey) scores. Although I can get the Champions League scores, sadly, whenever I type in KHL nothing comes up. I wonder if it's localized to Russia (I'm based in the UK).
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